Leading article Australia

Glad the Impaler

18 September 2021

9:00 AM

18 September 2021

9:00 AM

The New South Wales government press release proudly announcing ‘freedom for the fully vaccinated’ is a document of shame, and the four individuals named on it – Gladys Berejiklian, John Barilaro, Dominic Perrottet and Brad Hazzard – have disgraced themselves as Liberals and Nationals. The document separates citizens of Australia’s most important state into two categories, with special privileges accorded to one category and specific punishments, humiliations and illegal medical coercion and manipulation meted out to the other. Indeed, Mr Barilaro went so far as to say that businesses which allow unvaccinated customers through their doors or employ staff who are not fully vaccinated will face ‘significant fines’. The sadism, stupidity and cruelty of that decision are unfathomable. Welcome to Aussie apartheid.

Make no mistake, vaccine passports are not a public health measure, but a public control measure. One of Australia’s leading health bureaucrats has admitted that vaccine passports are ‘designed specifically to increase uptake rates’ (of vaccinations) and the goal is ‘to reduce the burden on the healthcare system’. So, a bureaucratic solution using the muscle of government to intimidate, coerce and cynically manipulate.

As has now become increasingly clear, whereas Covid vaccinations do reduce hospitalisations and deaths, they do not necessarily prevent the spread of the virus. This much was confirmed recently by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whose director Rochelle Walensky told CNN, ‘what (the vaccines) can’t do anymore is prevent transmission’. This was echoed by Dr Christina Parks, who holds a PhD in cellular and molecular biology, giving testimony to a Michigan House committee, where she claimed ‘recent studies have shown that the vaccinated and the unvaccinated have similar amounts of the virus in their nose and throat.’ She concluded, ‘Do the vaccines for Covid prevent transmission? No.’ Of course, there are plenty who disagree with her and maintain the vaccines do to some degree or other lower transmission rates.

And it is on this basis that a vague debate about the balance of probabilities begins, weighing up just how much safer a vaccinated individual may be out in public if the unvaccinated are kept out of their way. Regardless of how this balance tilts, it is by definition already unacceptable in a truly free and democratic nation. As an example, we would all be a degree safer if everyone drove at 30 kph all the time, but free societies have long accepted that this would be an intolerable curtailing of individual freedoms and commercial activity. (Scarily, many of the same enthusiasts for vaccine passports would opt for the 30kph scenario in a heartbeat, although they themselves would no doubt be exempt because of their ‘essential work’.)

If vaccine passports are introduced,  not only will our democratic freedoms be skewered but we will soon have an underclass of unemployed and socially isolated unvaccinated individuals; second-class citizens and criminals created by a Liberal National government.

Unsurprisingly, we’ve seen four separate legal challenges to mandatory vaccination filed in the NSW Supreme Court. Over 50,000 people viewed the live-streaming of the opening of the cases which gives you an indication of the level of interest in these challenges. The hearings are set for the end of the month. But already many businesses have taken matters into their own hands, with one spitefully saying they will withhold Christmas bonuses from unvaccinated employees, ignoring the fact that the Australian Immunisation Handbook spells out clearly that consent to being vaccinated must be given ‘in the absence of undue pressure, coercion or manipulation’.

Once you start down this path of dividing any society into two distinct classes of people, you have abandoned liberty and democracy and replaced it with tyranny. And once the state has decreed that one class is superior to another and gets special privileges, while the other class is shunned, locked out, vilified and loses their jobs, you have by definition installed apartheid.

The Morrison government has spinelessly avoided doing what it should do and declare mandatory vaccination un-Australian and unconstitutional. Florida Governor Ron de Santis, a true conservative, has done a reverse-Barilaro and will fine any business that discriminates against the unvaccinated. In Denmark, all Covid restrictions and vaccine passports were scrapped last week. In Britain, conservative Health Minister Sajid Javid has scrapped all plans to go ahead with vaccine passports.

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